Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Act III, Scene 4
The plot does not move much in this scene. Hero is dressing up for the wedding. Margaret seems innocent of the evil that the audience knows she has participated in, armed with a sharp wit and a friendly disposition. She says that Hero's heart will be heavier by the weight of a man-a veiled reference to marital union. She also teases Beatrice by pointing at the change in her, suggesting that she, too, needs to marry.
Margaret's reference to a "heavy heart" is ironic as Hero's heart is going to be burdened with the events to come. This scene shows Margaret in a better light than what Borachio has made of her in the intrigue. Perhaps, as will be claimed later, Margaret is an unwitting accomplice in the deeds against Hero. This scene also gives the audience a clear reinforcement of the idea that Beatrice has been transformed.
The three women are experiencing distinct states of mind. Beatrice is going through her new found emotion of love, which is completely unlike what she has ever been through. Margaret is thrilled with the approaching wedding, which is evident from her constant forthright babble. Hero's heart is heavy, possibly apprehensive of the sudden change that will transform her life. This is a charming scene that depicts something that every woman experiences at some stage in her life. Shakespeare has brought in all these feelings within a single moment in time.